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Discussion Starter #1
First off, I know this is long, but I'm really confused and would appreciate any advice you might have to offer! :)

The time has come, and Sebastian needs to part ways with a certain anatomical feature. We had all of our US kitties fixed early, but all of the vets over here said that I had to wait until 6 months.

As it is, Sebastian hasn't even had an official vet "wellness" visit. There's an animal "hospital" in town, which is more like a clinic, and I'm not even sure that the girl there has any certification in veterinary practices at all. I take him there to have his nails clipped every other week or so. I've managed with my basic language skills to get his rabies vaccine and deworming medicine from them, but I haven't tried anything else.

The Shanghai animal society recommends only one vet in this area for Western-standard services. They actually caution against having any surgical procedures done at "local hospitals". The Western vet is about 2 hours away by bus + a subway or taxi experience, so I figured I wouldn't subject Sebastian to the stress until it was time to have him neutered.

I figure he's around 6 months now, so I called last week to make an appointment only to find out that they don't do surgical procedures on weekends! :evil: Since you have to drop the pet off in the morning, this would mean formally requesting a day of leave from work, which probably won't get approved. :(

Now I'm in a pickle! What should I do?? Since all of my previous pets have been fixed very early on, I don't have any experience with this! So far Sebastian hasn't been spraying, and I definitely don't want that to start up! What do you guys think? How important is it that he be neutered now? How long can I wait?

Also, what do you guys think about the fact that he hasn't had any formal check-up tests or anything? He's been completely healthy the entire time I've had him. He's never so much as thrown up -- not even a hairball! I'm a little worried that he might have some disease that would prevent him from travelling overseas with me, and the thought of that makes me really sad :cry: I've had him since 4 weeks old though, so I don't know how likely it is that he was exposed to anything.

Do you think I should go through the stress of taking him all the way there and back just for a check up? Maybe if I knew what the vets check for, I could take a local friend to ask the clinic in town to do the tests until I can get him a neutering appointment. I want to do the best thing for him, but I don't want to freak him out either! Keep in mind this is like at least a 5 hour round trip just including the transportation, not to mention waiting in a loud, crowded bus station for god knows how long and the stress of the actual vet visit! I have a friend I usually catch a ride in with, but only on Saturdays! I hate when things I need are only available during the week. Grrrr
 

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I would recommend having him tested for Feline Leukemia and FIV. I'm not sure how common they are in the area, but it would be a first step. I would also recommend some sort of Feline Distemper combo vaccine if he hasn't had anyof those (which it sounds like he's only had rabies) - usually a set of two vaccines three or four weeks apart.

My initial thought would be if the hospital is open on weekends, see if you can drop him off on Sunday for the surgery on Monday and maybe just take off a little early to pick him up, or see if you can sweet talk a friend into picking him up?

You could also ask the local clinic how many routine surgeries they perform and see if you can find anyone around town that has had experience there. Feline neuters are very routine, common and believe it or not some clinics actually have technicians perform the surgery because it is so simple... I wouldn't recommend it, but it happens.

Not saying go ahead and have them neuter your kitty, but of all the surgeries you COULD need, this one would be the simpliest to have taken care of.

Good luck!
 

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If your motive is to prevent spraying, it should be done now. Once spraying starts, neutering might not completely stop it. And for traveling, be sure to get official documentation of the vaccinations. Do you have vacation days or personal days you can take off?
 

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Very true, once a kitty starts spraying they often continue after being neutered "out of habit".

And as far as vaccs, definitely get the rabies & distemper, feline leukemia and feline aids are top priorities, too.
Of course it's always a good idea to have him tested for parasites, also.
 

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I agree that it should be done now. I would also try to drop him off on Sunday for Monday surgery. Before you do that, check with the "good" hospital to find out what vaccines they require for boarding (I'm assuming vaccine requirements may be different in China) and get them done ahead of time at the local vet.
God, we are SO spoiled here with easy access to good vets!
Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for all of the advice :) OK, so I'll definitely get Sebastian taken care of in the next week or two. Unfortunately, whichever day I do it, I'd still have to take time off of work. There's no such thing as personal days or sick days at an employee's discretion in my office, I asked for a day off a few weeks ago on a day I wasn't even teaching, just doing office work and was denied. So annoying :(

I was browsing some expat forums and found out that there are two more vets in Shanghai who received their DVMs at US universities, so I think I'll call there first and see if they do weekend appointments. Back home I used to think it was inconvenient to get all of my cats into their carriers and take them to the vet a mile away, lol :lol: little did I know...

Thanks for the vaccination information too! You're all so wonderful and helpful :)
 

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gunterkat said:
And as far as vaccs, definitely get the rabies & distemper, feline leukemia and feline aids are top priorities, too.
A little off topic maybe but I would seriously consider not going for the FIV (feline AIDS) vaccine. If you go ahead and - say for example your kitty escapes and is picked up by a animal control organisation - they may test for FIV and then put him to sleep as the test will show positive for a vaccinated kitty in the same way as an infected kitty.
 

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melysion said:
A little off topic maybe but I would seriously consider not going for the FIV (feline AIDS) vaccine. If you go ahead and - say for example your kitty escapes and is picked up by a animal control organisation - they may test for FIV and then put him to sleep as the test will show positive for a vaccinated kitty in the same way as an infected kitty.
Agreed, FIV vaccinations are not terribly effective, and once vaccinated the cat will test positive. Many places still consider an FIV/+ cat to be an automatic danger to other cats, and un-adoptable. If your cat is vaccinated and does get out, he may end up being put down.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thankfully, I finally found a reccommended vet that neuters on Saturdays :D Yay! He got his DVM at Ohio State, and has a good reputation, so I feel comfortable with that! So this weekend Sebastian is going in for the surgery and a wellness visit with blood test and all the works. Thanks to you all for all of your great advice :)
 
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